Owning a vehicle in San Francisco can be wonderful. It allows you to avoid over-packed BART trains and the unreliable MUNI buses. Weekends become opportunities for adventure as day trips to Marin or Half Moon Bay are now a piece of cake. And no need to rent a truck next time you have to move furniture!
The city of San Francisco is also pleased to have you driving around its streets, but for a different reason. Last year the city made $86 million in revenue from parking tickets alone. The downside to car ownership is parking said car, which is especially tricky in San Francisco. In fact, it is so frustrating that entire books have been written on the subject. If you don’t have time to read a novel, take a look at the quick tips the B&W Service Center team has come up with:
- Parking signs are enforceable within 100 feet of your car; so after parking, make sure to check your area about 10 car lengths up and down the block.
- In time-limited zones, feeding the meter won’t cut it. By law, you must move your car to a different meter when your time is up.
- It is illegal to wipe off chalk marks from your tire.
- Yellow loading zones are usually reserved for trucks during business hours, although some may end as early as 11am. Check the fine print on nearby signs to be sure.
- White curbs, which are passenger zones, are only restricted when the businesses they border are open (unless a sign says it’s a 24-hour passenger zone).
- Green curbs mean you can park there for 10 minutes only.
- When parking on a slope, make sure to curb your wheels. If facing downhill, turn your wheels to the right. If facing uphill, turn your wheels to the left.
- The maximum parking time limit is 72 hours, even with residential parking permits. After that your car can be cited and towed.
- A driveway begins at the point at which the curb begins to slope downward toward street level. Even partially blocking a driveway can result in a towed vehicle.
- Do not park on sidewalks or crosswalks (which are considered extensions of sidewalks). This includes parking across a driveway.
As an incentive to do anything you can to avoid getting your car towed, keep in mind that towing and administrative fee for passenger vehicles is about $500 in the city of San Francisco.